Children & money

When I was a child, I learned I could have money if I found it and no one else claimed it.  I also learned that its a good idea to look for financial opportunities where others may not.  See, my daddy sold recycled parts of cars and, when we wanted a little treat, like maybe a 10¢ coke, he didn't care if we spent all day looking through the broken down cars on his lot to find a few coins.   My mother once made a deal with me and I learned a little more about handling money: you can only stretch a dollar so far and groceries are expensive! She asked me to babysit my brother and cook the family meals while she worked at our gas station on the highway out in front of our house.  I think she gave me $20 to buy the groceries for the week and I could have whatever was left over. I don't remember ever having anything left over.   Then, our family had a financial calamity when I was 16 and my Daddy was seriously injured while he was working at his business. I learned to figure out what absolutely had to be bought with money I earned or was given. I made most of my cloths and rarely bought new shoes or personal items.  As a result, my mother said when I was in college I could stretch $5 further than anyone she ever knew! Momma gave tithes, but I don't remember her ever explaining it to me.  I learned the joy of giving to a cause I care about from my church!   Some folks think it's wrong for churches to teach people to give to the work of God - but I'm glad mine did! 
Handling money the best way is surely one of the most important skills our children need to learn, but they're not very likely to learn it at school.  Schools will teach them what the various coins and bills look like, how to add and subtract money and how to figure percentages so they can take advantage of the best sales.  In their higher education, they might learn what debits, credits, investments and loans are.  Learning about money is good, but that is still not learning money management, so many children will likely train wreck their own finances when they are grown.  Dear mothers, please do all you can to assure your child doesn't experience a financial trainwreck when he/she is out of the nest!

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